Two major fields in linguistics are addressed during the second year of Linguistics: Sociolinguistics is discussed during the first semester and Psycholinguistics during the second semester. Sociolinguistics is the discipline of Linguistics that explores the relationship between language and society. Sociolinguistics examines the ways in which language functions in particular contexts and the manner in which societal structures impact on how human beings use language. Against the backdrop of the multilingual and multicultural South African society, this module aims to draw your attention to the important interface between language, society and culture and the ways in which languages and their varieties interact, and the ways in which languages unite, divide, and identify individuals as members of particular groups, e.g. cultural, gender, ethnic, religious, regional and national groups.
Psycholinguistics is a subfield of linguistics which aims to explore the psychological principles that enable humans to understand, produce, acquire and remember language. This program aims to introduce you to various aspects of psycholinguistics, ranging from the relation between language and the brain, focusing on both damaged and normal language use as well as key issues on the production and comprehension of spoken and written language. Throughout this course, your attention will be focused on the mental processes and strategies involved in translation, editing and interpreting; all of which are extremely complex language facilitation tasks that play a major role in multilingual and multicultural South Africa and which form an integral part of language practice.